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Abiding Fruit

Pruning

John 15:1-2
Jesus said to his disciples:
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit. But he trims clean every branch that does produce fruit, so that it will produce even more fruit.

CEV

John 15:2
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

This is the work of the vinedresser. It is His task to care for the branches of the plant. Jesus tells us His Father has two roles to play as vinedresser.

First, he prunes the productive plants so that they may bear fruit. This process is one of carefully caring for the plant. While I do not understand the pruning process, it is a matter of trimming back and removing parts of the plant so as to cause the plant to become even more productive. The concept of pruning is still in operation today as grape growers, flower keepers, orchid tenders, and others care for their crops. God the Father cares for those who are Christ'

The first portion of this verse creates a bit more of a problem. Note the language - every branch "in Me" which is not fruit bearing, God the Father takes away. At issue is the question of who these branches represent. There are two schools of thought.

The first option is that these are unproductive Christians. Perhaps, they are carnal Christians not walking with Christ, but living strongly in the world. They have ruined their testimonies. They are of no use to Jesus, so He and God the Father allow their removal from the plant. Since a Christian may not loose his salvation, the only way to remove them from the plant is to take them home to heaven. This would be the type of situation Paul envisions in 1 Corinthians 11:30:

1 Corinthians 11:27-30
27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord' body. 30 For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.

There is, however, another view. It is presented on the next page.

 

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December 10, 2019

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